Doctor accused of death of patient allowed to continue practicing

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A plastic surgeon and a nurse from Bonita, who are both charged with manslaughter in the death of a patient, may continue to perform surgeries for now. ABC 10News has learned that they are under no obligation to inform patients of the charges against them.

It comes earlier this week when Dr Carlos Chacon and nurse Heather Lang were charged in part with manslaughter and treatment of the ill without certificate in the death of Megan Espinoza, 36, over charges of sloppy breast augmentation inside Divino. Plastic surgery in Bonita.

The Medical Board of California released a jarring report detailing what allegedly happened during the operation in 2018.

According to the Council’s charge, the nurse sedated Espinoza even though she apparently did not have the proper training to do so. Espinoza would have become “without a pulse”.

For almost two hours, they reportedly tried using an AED, CPR, various medications and a ventilator.

The doctor reportedly “… called two anesthetists he worked with for advice, rather than calling 911”.

One of them even offered to come and help, but the doctor reportedly refused.

According to the report, Espinoza was “in a coma” and suffered “cardiac arrest”.

Video of the operation apparently shows Dr Chacon using “cheat sheets” trying to rescue her.

Paramedics were eventually called “more than three hours after CPR”.

She died a few days later in hospital.

The doctor and nurse pleaded not guilty.

The Medical Board of California sent the following statement to ABC 10News.

“The Medical Board of California (Board) filed a public charge against Dr. Chacon on Tuesday, December 21, and it was posted on its [public profile] yesterday afternoon.

Currently, Dr. Chacon is subject to bail conditions imposing exercise restrictions set by the Superior Court. On Monday, December 20, the Commission requested a court order that would require Dr. Chacon to cease his practice pending the outcome of the criminal charges. The Superior Court judge ordered a hearing to consider the evidence of this claim on March 23 and 24, 2022.

The Commission’s charge against Dr Chacon is posted on the Commission’s website to help educate the public of these charges. The Medical Practice Act does not require Dr. Chacon to notify his patients of his pending criminal charges or of this charge. Reports like this will help educate the public and remind individuals to verify their physician’s license through the Medical Board of California at []. “

The Board of Registered Nursing sent the following statement to ABC 10News:

“The Council of Registered Nurses (the Council) is aware of the criminal complaint and it is currently under review. The Board cannot comment on pending administrative disciplinary matters as the information is confidential unless and until the Board takes formal disciplinary action.

The Board is not in a position to place limits on the licensee’s practice, nor to require that the licensee notify patients of pending criminal charges, until the Board takes formal action in accordance with the guidelines. procedural processes required by law. The Council will examine this matter expeditiously and take appropriate action as soon as possible.

For any further information, please contact the Attorney General’s Office, which represents the Council in this case. “

For the next three months, Dr Chacon and Lang can continue to perform surgeries with certain limitations set by the court. The prosecutor’s office sent the following to ABC 10News:

“The conditions for Chacon’s release are:

  • He can only perform surgery if the anesthesia is administered by a licensed anesthesiologist or a Certified Certified Nurse Anesthesiologist (CRNA) who is authorized to administer anesthesia independently without the supervision of a physician;
  • He can only perform surgery in an approved and certified outpatient surgery center or hospital
  • He cannot order unauthorized personnel to administer anesthesia, IV medication, or IV bag maintenance in any way.
  • He must notify the court if he intends to travel outside the state of California

Lang / Vass’ release conditions are:

  • She can only administer anesthesia under the direct supervision of a licensed anesthesiologist or CRNA;
  • She cannot order unauthorized personnel to administer anesthesia, IV medication or maintenance of IV bags in any way ”

Dr Chacon’s attorney sent the following statement to ABC 10News.
“The allegations made against Dr. Chacon will be vigorously defended. Dr. Chacon has practiced for over a decade and has served thousands of patients. Dr. Chacon is an active contributor and is a respected member of the South Bay community. There have been no previous charges of wrongdoing. Dr. Chacon acted in accordance with his duties as a licensed physician. This is a tragic and unfortunate accident, and we believe the facts will confirm it. Currently, Dr Chacon is licensed to practice medicine. In addition, its installation has been fully controlled and maintains certification with all governing bodies. In addition, these allegations of misconduct have been known to the Medical Commission for several years, and since that time hundreds of patients have received excellent care without complaint. Dr. Chacon denies any negligence or wrongdoing on his part.

Lang’s attorney sent the following statement:

“The death of Ms. Espinoza is a tragic and unexpected nightmare for all parties involved. The fact that it took three years to file a complaint demonstrates the complexity involved in filing allegations against a registered nurse who acted at all times under the direction and control of a licensed physician. We welcome our turn to assess the evidence and conduct our own investigation. “

Espinoza’s family have filed a wrongful death complaint.

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